Author Archives: George Simmers

After many years as a teacher, I retired and began researching for a Ph.D. on the fiction of the Great War – especially the books, stories and plays that were written during the War or immediately afterwards.

Armchair generals

‘Every Englishman believes in his heart, however modestly he may conceal the conviction, that he could himself organise as large an army as Kitchener and organise it better.’ (Havelock Ellis. Essays in War-Time: Further Studies in the Task of Social Hygiene (1917).) And a hundred years on, every Englishman still believes he could have done […]

Kipling and the Great War

A very useful article on Kipling and the War has been posted on the Kipling Society’s website: http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/rg_greatwar.htm In the article, Rodney Atwood follows kipling’s actions and writing through the war years in considerable detail, dispelling some of the myths that have accrued because of popular treatments like My Boy Jack. By the way, I […]

Hall Caine’s The Woman of Knockaloe (1923)

(Also published on the Reading 1900-1950 blog) Review by George S:This novel comes with two forewords, one by Newman Flower, the head of Cassell’s publishing house, and one by the author. The gist of each is that this book will disturb and offend some, but that it is a story that needs to be told. […]

In the ‘Huddersfield Examiner’

I came across a hint that in 1918 Rose Allatini’s Despised and Rejected had been reviewed in the Huddersfield Examiner, and since I live in Huddersfield I trotted along yesterday to the very pleasant Local Studies room of the Central Library to see what I could find. I had high hopes that it would be […]

‘Despised and Rejected’ – a Christian view

I hadn’t previously heard of The Church League for Women’s Suffrage, but I shall try to find out about them, having been sent this clipping from their journal in 1918. It is a review of Rose Allatini’s Despised and Rejected that does not mince words. (If you can’t read it satisfactorily, or if the whole […]

Mountweazel

The sad news is that the latest series of Only Connect has finished.  What will I do now on Monday evenings? The good news is that the last programme in the series gave me a splendid word that I had never encountered before. It is ‘Mountweazel’, a fictitious entry in a work of reference. These […]

Jutland conspiracy

I’ve recorded the Dan Snow documentary about the Battle of Jutland that was on BBC4 yesterday evening. I assume it will up to his usual clear and informative standard, and when I watch it, it will be with a special interest, because I have just been exploring a very different, and frankly nasty, account of […]

R. Allatini, woman writer

Olive Dalcroze, the heroine of R. Allatini’s first novel, …Happily Ever After (1914) is herself a writer, and a determined one, though patronised by her family: let the poor child play with a bit of paper and a pen if it amuses her. She writes a novel called Hilary and explains to a sympathetic listener […]

Rose Allatini and ‘romance novels’

Rose Allatini The excellent news is that Persephone Books are republishing Rose Allatini’s Despised and Rejected as one of their Spring/Summer selections. This novel, of course, was the one that, published under the name of A.T. Fitzroy, described homosexuals and conscientious objectors sympathetically, and was prosecuted in September 1918 as ‘likely to prejudice the recruiting, […]

Why aren’t You in the Army?

For quite a long while now I’ve been collecting examples of the ‘White Feather’ meme, variations on the situation where a woman (often elderly, always self-righteous) accuses a man of being a coward, and is then shown to be ridiculous because he is already a soldier, or is a wounded ex-soldier, or whatever. This postcard […]